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‘PM, Ibobi should apologise to Sharmila’
Correspondent IMPHAL, NOV 5: 3
Published on 7 Nov. 2010 12:35 AM IST
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Stating that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Manipur chief minister O Ibobi Singh should apologise to Irom Sharmila for not respecting the people’s rights, the human rights activists on Friday slammed both the Central and State governments including UPA chairperson, Sonia Gandhi, after the authorities refused them to call on Irom Sharmila.
Manipur government refused the rights activists, who gathered at JNIMS Hospital, Imphal to call on Irom Sharmila who has been lodging at the security ward and administering nasal feeding her for the last 10-year.
A team of human rights activists from different parts of the country, as a part of the five-day long “Festival of Hope, Justice and Peace” organized by Just Peace Foundation went to the JNIMS Hospital even though state home department refused to issue permission for audience with Sharmila.
Home department without giving any reason turned down the permission sought by the organizers to have an audience with Sharmila. Health condition of the Iron Lady might be the reason behind the non-issue of permission as her health condition had deteriorated for the past few days.
In a statement the rights activists expressed strongly protest against the fact that she continues to be kept in solidarity confinement without any access to visitors or members of her family. “This is a travesty of justice that denies her right to liberty and freedom of speech.”
“We demand that the government put an immediate stop to her forced incarceration, allow her free access to visitation and respond to her demand for the repeal of the AFSPA- a long-standing demand of the people of the sub-continent,” lamented the statement signed by right activists from Tamil Nadu, Nagaland, Karnataka, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Assam, New Delhi.
“Sharmila is not a terrorist nor a Maoist or a separatist who have been fighting for justice and peace for the people, said the right activists coming from outside the state, while speaking at a public meeting held at BOAT, palace compound after a mass rally organized by Sharmila Kanba Lup.
“We are not satisfied with the attitude of the government and the activists should be allowed to meet her and convey their feeling and support to her struggle, KS Subramania a retired IPS officer who was among the right activists said.
The rights activists said that they would take the matter seriously and would stage a protest in front of National Human Rights Commission in New Delhi,”,
Uma Chakravarti, feminist historian and retired professor also said that the Congress Supremo Sonia Gandhi should also meet Sharmila if she is believed in non-violence and a true leader who thinks of people when she visits in the state.
The mass rally organised by the Sharmila Kanba Lup marched from JNIMS hospital to Palace Compound which was participated by people from different parts of the state including from hill areas.
Sit-in protest was also staged by womenfolk at Keishamthong marketing shed and Tera Bazar demanding repeal of the Act and showing solidarity towards Sharmila’s struggle. The protests started from 11 am went on till 4 pm.
Meanwhile, the five day long Festival of Hope, Justice and Peace which began on November 2 will conclude on Saturday.

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